Poconos Birthday Quilts


More quilts to share! These two were birthday gifts for my dad and stepmom.

Dad’s quilt is a pattern from Heather Jones’s Quilt Local, and Bobbi’s uses blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler.

I’ll tell you about Dad’s first… it was supposed to be a Christmas gift. The top came together very quickly in December, but I didn’t get to quilt it in time. So it became a birthday gift instead! Both of their birthdays are in February, and mine and my brother’s are in March, so we all spent a nice weekend together at their mountain house to celebrate.

Fabrics are by Timeless Treasures. Soho Solids for the top (he likes purple so I picked a deep velvet color), Hydrangeas by Chong-a Hwang for the back. Dad passed his love of gardening on to me, and we have a mutual appreciation for this flower. It runs in the family – his father was an accomplished horticulturist.

I free-motion quilted the purple sections with stippling, and added some straight lines near the seams on the neutral sections. I don’t pre-wash my fabrics; I give the finished quilt a wash so it gets cozy and crinkly.



I got lucky with the perfect shade of Aurifil in my stash. Look how perfectly it matched!


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This was my first quilt using only solids, and only two fabrics. I love how it came out, and I keep thinking about how it would look in some other combinations. I love the one on the cover.


Now for Bobbi’s quilt. It was by special request. There was a small wall area in their weekend house that needed some love. She sent me references for color and design, but I couldn’t settle on any fabrics just then, so I kept the project in the back of my brain for a little while.


The February NYC Metro Mod meeting. We had a special guest, Usha Berlin of Handloom Batik. Her family has been making hand-printed fabrics for generations and she gave a wonderful presentation, showing her work and talking about their history and methods. It was totally awe-inspiring. Be sure to visit Usha at a show if you get the opportunity.

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I knew Bobbi would love these fabrics and the story behind them, and there were plenty available in the color palette she requested. It took me ages, but I managed to choose a handful of cuts after much agony and consultation with my fellow mods. The fabrics are soft and gauzy, and the colors are so vibrant. Many are made with natural dyes. One of the fabrics I chose was a floral print; Usha told me that the flowers in the design were actually mustard plants, and dye used for that fabric came from mustard seeds!


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The orange sanskrit print translates to “Finish what you start”. How perfect is that for quilters?

There is one fabric in there that’s not Handloom Batik, and it is the blue & tan print. Bobbi and Dad brought that fabric back from a trip to Singapore. I thought it sat well with the others.

I knew I wanted to use the City Sampler blocks to create an unpredictable geometric design that my stepmom would like, but wasn’t happy with how it was coming together on my design wall at first. The blocks are 6″, and with all the piecing, you couldn’t really appreciate the fabrics. I kept looking at that orange print… finish what you start. So I persevered. Once I cut up some 6″ squares and started arranging them between all the pieced blocks, the design opened up in a new way! I had a lot of fun deciding on the layout after that.


The weekend I gave them these quilts, Bobbi was on a mission to make one of her own. We gathered up the supplies and I showed her what to do. Check out her first quilt, a table topper for their sailboat’s nav station!


I think she caught the bug…


Cait & Pete’s Wedding Quilt

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It feels fitting that this should be the first quilt to chronicle on QIQ.

Jorge and I made it back in 2013, shortly before our friends Caitlin and Pete got hitched. As we chose the pattern, agonized over a color scheme, and prepared the pieces, I took tons of photos so I could share them after the wedding on my completely fictional “blog”. Obviously, the pictures sat on my phone, and then my computer, for years. Doomed to a life of solitude and loneliness, collecting meta-dust.

Until now!

It took me three years, but I have a blog now dammit, and hell if I’m going to let all this behind-the-scenes shutterbugging go to waste.

So, back to the quilt story then…

When I heard my friends were engaged, I knew right away I wanted to make them a quilt. Jorge, my quilter-in-training, was eager to help, so we made it a joint venture. I visited the bride’s Pinterest board, knowing she’d be collecting inspiration for the big day. Sure enough, I found plenty of images to inform the color scheme, settling on this succulent bouquet to translate into a fabric palette. Jorge and I agreed on a pattern from Sunday Morning Quilts.

We cut out the pieces, mixed them up, and got to work. All the fabrics are by Timeless Treasures.

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After lots of sewing, pressing, trimming, more sewing, more pressing, and more trimming, a pretty pile of blocks was born!

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We laid it out on the biggest section of floor we could find in our apartment. These were the pre-design wall days. We used an old sheet to prevent the blocks from sweeping the floor. Each block was lettered and numbered with a masking tape label so we could keep track of placement as we put it together.

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Here’s the top hanging out on our full-size bed at home, before basting and quilting.

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We opted for straight line quilting on a bias grid. Water soluble pen worked well to mark it up.

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At the time, I had never made anything larger than a throw size, and didn’t give much thought to the fact that this was a 90″ x 90″ quilt. And we were sewing on my little Janome Magnolia. If someone tries to convince you that you can’t quilt a project of this size on your DSM, just show them this picture. You can wrestle a monster through this thing if you’re willing to put up with the back pain that follows.

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The pieced back — Jorge had a lot of fun with this part.

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Bound, labeled, ready to wash.

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Washed and soft and crinkly, and no more blue lines!

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No quilt is complete without a label.

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It ended up matching the wedding colors – as well as Cait and Pete’s home decor – beautifully.

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I will never forget their phone call to us the night they opened the box. ❤

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Last year I made a throw pillow to match for Caitlin’s birthday. She sent me this ridiculously cute picture of Pete test-driving it at home later that day! Snug as a bug in a rug.


I’ll be sharing my past, present and future quilts (and rando sewing projects) here on the blog, so be sure to subscribe using that lil’ widget in the sidebar. See you again soon!